/ Motoring

Who’s to blame for road rage?

Angry man in car

There are more than 30 million cars on our roads, with the vast majority taxed and insured. But what does the law-abiding motorist get for playing by the rules? Nothing short of being driven round the bend.

Petrol prices have just topped £1.40 a litre. There’s the congestion charge in London and tolls to drive on the M6, cross the Thames and get into Wales.

Then there’s the ridiculous and confusing parking rules imposed by different councils – that’s if you can find somewhere to stop in the first place. And to top it all, car insurance premiums are going through the roof, making it all the more important to vote with your feet and switch your insurer.

But even if you put all of this to one side, there’s still plenty to get angry about. Speed cameras, wheel clampers and endless yellow lines policed by overzealous meter maids which all combine to empty what’s left of your wallet or purse.

Frustration behind the wheel

Driving is no fun either. There’s so much junk on the roads. Motorways are cluttered with signs. There are ever-changing variable speed limits that require you to spend far longer than can be safe checking your speedo.

These limits are even more infuriating when they are imposed to protect vast rows of cones, but there aren’t any workers because they’ve all gone home.

I can’t be alone in having missed my turn-off because of all the road signs for cultural sites, warnings to cut my speed and so on. This means I have to drive miles out of my way, using up loads more petrol just to come back on myself.

Our roads need a rethink

Is there any wonder motorists are likely to overreact when they are cut up, snapped by a speed camera or are just tired from concentrating on it all?

Surely it’s time for someone in control to take a fresh look at what’s happening on our roads and implement strategies to make life a little more bearable for those of us who drive.


hmmm, dare I?

yeah, why not…..

Peugeot drivers, Kia drivers, unsequenced traffic lights, poorly designed junctions, fixed speed cameras, drivers not keeping a constant speed (meaning extra usage of expensive fuel), OLODs, CLODs (central/outside lane only drivers), hesitant drivers at junctions, underused bus lanes, taxi drivers, foreign truck drivers not knowing road rules, ill-maintained trucks that blow-out on the motorway, jack-knifed lorries on the motorway, spilled loads on motorway, suicide attempts, and finally……

Clarksons favourite = the traffic wombles who close motorways for hours to retrieve a broken wingmirror

That’ll do for now 🙂

Dean, you forgot to add drivers not knowing the rules at roundabouts.

Am I the only person who finds taxi drivers (not minicab though) quite highly skilled and considerate towards other road users, as long as you’re considerate to them?

I like your bit about closing motorways to retrieve a wing mirror. In Cyprus the motorway maintenance workers stand on the edge of the outside lane to prune the shrubbery on the central reservation, protected only by a high-vis vest. No reported accidents (yet).

Pickle says:
9 March 2011

No one has mentioned potholes….!

How about train rage! I’m quite a calm driver compared to how cross I get if people try and get on the train before others get off. Bags on seats, people on phones. I could go on…

Paul says:
12 March 2011

For Me these are the trigger points:
People using Mobiles. Lorries overtaking on the Motorway. Lane hoggers. People who continually dab their brakes on the Motorway. Inconsiderate parking. Anyone wearing a Flat Cap, or sporting a Blue Rinse, with a cushion on the rear shelf. People who cannot drive at the road speed( see previous point). Idiots who want to share their **** choice in music with everyone. People who think indicators are an optional extra. Apart fom that I am a calm and relaxed Driver!

Josephine says:
12 March 2011

Selfish drivers who don’t consider people retrieving wing mirrors or any other objects from a motorway if not closed risk their lives and may be saving someone else’s. One accident would be one too many.

Drivers who tailgate when I am driving at the designated speed. Drivers who do not signal left or right when I am waiting for them to pass. Drivers with unaligned headlights which are blinding at night and those who have their front fog lights on whether foggy or not. Those that drive at at least 10mph below the designated speed limit which can be as dangerous as those that speed.

Non disabled people who park on our white line, apparently they can’t see it, so should not be driving anyway.

Regarding Josephine’s comment about driving 10mph below the speed limit, at a recent speed awareness course I was surprised that half of the 16 attendees thought the national speed limit on single-carriageway roads was 50.

Hector Macduff says:
14 March 2011

I always aim to keep to the speed limits but am regularly harassed by tailgaters who won’t overtake but try to pressurise me to speed up.

Fat Sam, Glos says:
16 March 2011

Ha ha, great lists. if I can add to them:

Audi drivers (never indicate), fat BMW drivers (tailgating), young boy drivers who sit at angle one hand on wheel, other never leaving gear stick with head practically in the central console, Micra/Yaris drivers (too slow), parent and child spaces right outside the entrance (one cause of childhood obesity), elephant racers (lorries overtaking one another at a difference of 0.5mph), people who change lanes without indicating, people who never indicate on roundabouts if changing their direction of travel, people who put fluorescent jackets on the parcel shelf driving a white D-reg Cavalier at 68mph trying to make everyone think they’re a police officer (sad), middle lane hoggers (most people aged over 60), white van drivers (always on mobiles), uninsured drivers (anyone who has an after-market spoiler or an extra set of lights is a good sign), foreign vehicles (tax them on entry), people who complain if I use the outside lane where it merges in to one (that’s what it’s there for, you numpty, the queue’s caused because you don’t use it to merge in turn!)

However, I do like:

People sitting stationary in three lanes of a closed M42 the other day who didn’t realise the hard-shoulder was open to traffic (in the Active Traffic Management section) allowing me to drive in a completely empty lane for miles until I got to the accident itself! Thank you, your stupidity is my reward.

A survey from the AA suggests that road rage could be down to parents passing on their bad habits to their children. So perhaps, and this is the obvious counterpart, road rage is just a state of mind? Even if our roads were perfect, those who ‘suffer’ from road rage probably still would…

I wonder if it’s because we have so many rules and regulations. I’ve driven a lot in India and over there the only rule is ‘might is right’. Whilst there are gestures a plenty and much horn tooting, by and large nothing is really aggressive. Because everyone drives interpreting the rules in their own way and just accepts that what is done to them they will do to someone else at some point.

Which probably explains the incredibly high death rate on their roads.

Gareth says:
28 October 2011

Good lists, I don’t think anyone picked up on this one though, one of the most annoying things ever: people that indicate to the right when leaving a roundabout. IT’S LEFT YOU FOOLS!!!!! LEFT!!!

It makes me angry that such stupid people
A. Haven’t been engineered out of the gene pool already, and
B. Are allowed within 500 yards of a car, (unless it’s moving towards them, quickly) never mind to operate one.